ECOWAS Court President appeals to Commission to increase number and tenure of judges
The President of the community court of Justice, ECOWAS, Edward Amoako Asante, has urged the Authority of Heads of States and Government to restore the composition and tenure of judges of the Court back to the position it was under the 1991 Protocol.
He said there was the urgent need to increase the number of judges of the Court from five to seven and their tenures from four years non-renewable to five years renewable.
Justice Asante said the upward review of the number of justices of the court would enable it to deliver its responsibilities to the community.
“Ecowas Court of Justice has a critical role to play in the integration process and it is, therefore, necessary to strengthen the Courts rather than weaken it,” he said.
Addressing the closing session of the International Conference on ECOWAS Integration model in Cape Verde, Justice Asante said the lower number of judges of the Community Court was having an adverse effect on justice delivery.
He thanked participants and panellists to have expanded the frontiers of knowledge on the various thematic areas with the high level of seminar papers and robust discussions at the conference which was held on the theme: ECOWAS Integration Model: The legal Implications of Sovereignty, Regionalism and Supranationalism.”
The four-day conference was to critically appraise the legal environment of the implementation of the ECOWAS integration agenda.
Justice Asante said the theme was carefully chosen to analyse the ECOWAS integration model, the challenges militating against the attainment of community objectives.
He said a successful regional integration arrangement would be of enough benefits to citizens of the community, adding that this could only be attained with a good legal entity.
Justice Asante said while there were costs to regional integration, the benefits far outweighed the costs.
“ECOWAS may not be where we want it to be in 2022. All we need to do to make it more effective,” adding that ECOWAS still remains the reference point for Regional Economic Integration in Africa.
He urged Member States to domesticate the Revised Treaty and Protocols of the Court and enact implementing legislation to facilitate the enforcement of judgments of the Court by national courts.
They should also implement the decisions of the court and countries were yet to appoint competent authority to do so to enforce the judgements.
He urged stakeholders to implement the robust recommendations of the conference to enhance the regional integration agenda.